tv PBS News Hour PBS September 22, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: president biden calls on world leaders and global business to "go big," to get the globe vaccinated and combat covid. then, the democratic divide. a leading progressive lawmaker on conflicting priorities in her party. plus, after ida. how louisiana is struggling with an energy and housing crisis in the wake of the storm. >> we're still without everything. we've actually seen nobody to come and help.
and it's-- nothing's changed. >> woodruff: and, bob woodward and robert costa talked to more than 200 people in the trump and biden administrations about one of the most tumultuous transitions in american history. they join us to discuss their new book, "peril." all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our enomy for 160 years.
bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> b.d.o. accountants and advisors. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improvingives through invention, in the u.s. and veloping countries.
on the web at lemelson.org. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the biden administration today announced a new step to try to ease the massive global inequity around access to life-saving covid vaccines. the president announced that the u.s. would purchase an additional 500 million doses from pfizer, and donate it to oth nations. >> it brgs our total commitment of donated vaccines to over 1.1 billion vaccines to be donated. put another way, for every one shot we've administered to date in america, we've now committed to do three shots to the rest of
the world. as we do so, we should unite around the world on a few principles: that we commit to donating, not selling-- donating, not selling-- doses to low and lower income countries, and, that those donations come with no political strings attached. >> woodruff: now we turn to william brangham, who has more on this, and several other pandemic developments. >> reporter: that's right, judy, there is so much going on with the pandemic right now including, dare i say, some actual goons on the horizon. the w.h.o. reported that last week the number of covid cases and deaths declined from 4 million to 3.6 million globally. a modeling group working with the c.d.c. says we might see declines in the u.s. throughout the fall and winter. deaths have been climbing all summer. there are about 2,000 people in america dying every day from
covid. their prediction is we might seen a similar dip back down into the hundreds of deaths only by march this winder. a lot of caveats including the fact we have to get a lot of kids vaccinated but could be very good news. on this vaccine front, you remember last week that the f.d.a. said that the evidence for pfizer booster shots for the general population were not recommended but they did recommend them for 65-year-olds and up and vulnerable populations. the c.d.c. is looking on that and debating how that might roll out and we should hear from them at the end to have the week. this is what critics have been saying biden needs to be doing, rich nations need to ramp up the spread of these vaccines to poorer nations. even so, some critics are looking at today and saying it's still not enough. for example, just about an hour or so ago, i talked with thomas frieden. he used to run the c.d.c., and
now runs a group called resolve to save lives and we talked about this exact issue. dr. frieden, always good to have you on the "newshour". president biden today said that we're not going to get out of this pandemic with what he put it as half measures or middle of the road ambitions, and then he made the announcement of an enormous purchase of pfizer doses to donate to the world. does it meet that bar? >> well, there's a lot to like in the administration's announcements from today, but, unfortunately, it's too little and too late. we need a different approach. we're billions of doses short, and the missing link here, william, is moderna. the united states taxpayers paid for the invention that mental disorder is selling. moderna is a small company. a year ago it had less than is thousand employees and yet, the safeguarding to have the world is dependent on their technology and pfizer's scaling up massively because mrna
vaccines are insurance against variants, production failures and are our most hopeful way to get the world through the disaster. >> reporter: getting back to the pharmaceutical companies in a second. but back to the president -- too little too late, what else do you want him to be doing? >> first, give credit where credit is due. it's true the sus donated hundreds of millions of doses, accelerating the schedule and very importantly funding the delivery of vaccines, education just buying the vaccines and dumping them and hoping it will work out. so that's all very important. but the real challenge here is that there are too few doses being produced and, because of that, we're likely to have a real shortage of the most effective vaccines through 2022, and because of that, we'll have more risk of dangerous variants, slower recovery of travel and trade, more political instability and, most importantly, millions of lives lost that could be saved.
>> reporter: you have, in the past, also been very critical of the pharmaceutical companies. i'm going to read something you said recently. you said, quote, people are dying because of the choices of moderna, pfizer and their boards and shareholders. it is a very serious allegation. again, what are the things they could do to speed this effort more? >> the way it works, really, is that governments do a lot to make things possible for pharmaceutical companies that sell vaccines. they do the science, they buy the vaccines, they indemnify them against legal chllenge, they educate doctors and patients, they buy the vaccines at high cost, in the case of the u.s., and what many vaccine manufacturing companies do but not these two, what many do is understand that th have a responsibility and that responsibility includes technology transfer when they cannot meet global need immediately. i think what has to happen is a combination of legal pressure, support, incentives and ensuring
they transfer techtology to entities that are able to scale up production of their vaccine much faster than is currently being scaled up. >> reporter: the companies in their defense argue we're making vaccine as fast as we can, we didn't decide who we sold them to, we sold them to the first buyers that came, and those were the western nations. on some level, these criticisms are unfair. >> it is true, these companies have done a great job making a great vaccine and scaling up within their capacities. the problem is we can't be held hostage to two companies and what they can do and the one-off deals they can make with other companies. in truth, both e companies and the biden administration are doing a lot, but what's needed and what needed is not easy, it's hard. it means forcing the companies to do something they don't want the do, it means threatening legal action, it means sending people who know about production to the factories and finding
partners. the stability of the world depends on it. >> reporter: dr. tom frieden, president and c.e.o. of resolve lives, a >> woodruff: as we reported, president biden held an international covid summit today and called for 70% of the global population to be vaccinated by september 2022. indonesia has recorded more than four million covid cases. more than 140,000 people have died. initially, indonesia turned to china, but nick schifrin explores how the u.s. and its allies are trying to achieve vaccine inroads in china's backyard. >> schifrin: in indonesia's newly-dug covid cemeteries, the grievers are barely old enough to wear a mask. row after row, column upon column, from the air, all symmetrical, as if pre-planned. but on the ground, these graves were dug so quickly, the names are written in pen. the flowers, and the heartache, are fresh. at the pandemic's peak this summer, grave diggers in head- to-toe p.p.e. buried more than 200 bodies here, a day.
ross the country, the daily death toll was 3,000. at first, the medical savior was china. indonesia was the first country to approve sinovac, outside of china. china sent indonesia its first sinovac shipment in december 2020. in january, president joko widodo received the vaccine on live television. it's a pattern repeated worldwide. china exported nearly one billion sinovac doses to more than 100 countries. it's created sinovac plants in 15 countries. indonesia has bought 125 million doses. but then, health care workers started getting sick, and dying. >> ( translated ): the cases made us feel overwhelmed. we feel like we want to scream. it's very exhausting, because we are still racing. it's still a marathon. >> schifrin: dr. vera irawany is an i.c.u. doctor in jakarta. she's seen first hand, indonesia's strained health care system. between january and june, more than 350 healthcare workers caught covid. dozens died.
the majority of them had received sinovac. >> ( translated ): many patients came to us with critical conditions, even though they've been vaccinated. we were surprised because even though these people were vaccinated, the result is that bad. >> schifrin: a university of hong kong study published last july found the pfizer vaccine produced ten times the level of antibodies as sinovac. another study shows the sinovac's efficacy rate is only 50%. >> i'm happy to announce that the sinovac/coronavac vaccine has been given w.h.o. emgency use listing. >> schifrin: but even though china never released efficiency data, in april, the world health organization approved emergency use for sinovac in i vaccine distribution program, know as covax. >> i would say that at this point, putting forward donating or contributing sinovac to covax is no longer supported by the scientific evidence. >> schifrin: chris beyrer is an epidemiologist at johns hopkins university.
he says the pfizer and moderna mrna vaccines are new technology, while sinovac uses traditional technology that uses an inactive sars-cov-2 virus. scientists say the chinese company over-inactivated the virus, decreasing its efficacy. >> i think the thing we have to understand is that all covid vaccines are not created equal. it's a very old-school technology, and it turns out that it just doesn't generate the same level of immune responses. but particularly, as the coronavirus has changed and evolved ov time with these new variants of concern. >> schifrin: in april, china's top disease control official admitted chinese vaccines quot“" don't have high protection rates.” but earlier this month, chinese officials claimed the vaccine was effective against delta in preventing severe cases and deh. >> ( translated ): the current vaccines remain effective agait all variants of the virus. >> schifrin: dr. dicky budiman is an epidemiologist at griffith university in australia, and advised the indonesian government.
>> indonesia has 270 million population. even the commitment from china is not even fit with half of our total population. but stil that's a very, very significant and very important step for indonesia to start with their vaccination program. >> schifrin: indeed, initially sinovac was indonesia's only choice, and indonesia's first trials showed the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing serious illness and death, although it dropped from april to june to 79%. >> c you imagine if we don't-- we need to wait and then we don't have any protection? it will be very worse for indonesia. >> schifrin: dr. nadia tarmizi is the spokesperson for indonesia's vaccine program. >> we think if we don't have any protection with the vaccine, for example, if we need to wait until mrna vaccine available in our country, it's more we will have been facing a problem worse than the condition. at least there is still
protection. >> the united states will purchase a half a billion doses. >> schifrin: but sinovac's lower efficacy created a diplomatic opening. in june, the u.s. donated 500 million doses to covax, including the million to indonesia. last month, dr. irawany received a moderna booster. others have received pfizer. >> schifrin: but vaccine diplomacy remains a competition. last month, on her first trip to southeast asia, vice president kamala harris planned to announce the u.s. would donate one million vaccines to vietnam. but during a three-hour flight delay, china stepped in and announced it would donate two million of i own vaccines. and today, most of indonesia still only has access to sinovac.
>> schifrin: the vaccine competition continued this week. yesterday, chinese president xi jinping promised to export another one billion vaccine doses this year. >> schifrin: today, president biden announced the u.s. would donate an additional 500 million vaccines across the world. but, global health experts say it's not enough. for indonesia, only 16% of the population is fully vaccinated. >> until now, we've had a lot of wealthy countries, of course, pre-purchasing vaccines and hoarding vaccines, so that covax, even if it had the money, didn't have the ability to purchase the high-efficacy vaccines. >> schifrin: and so the gravediggers continue their work. indonesia's cases are down from their peak, but in areas outside the main cities, scientists warn the worst wave is imminent. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin.
>> woodruff: in the day's other news, the u.s. federal reserve signaled it may raise a benchmark interest rate in 2022. it had said rate hikes might start in 2023, but they could be needed sooner to control accelerating inflation. chairman jerome powell blamed continuing supply chain problems from the pandemic. >> those seem to be going to be with us at least for a few more months, and perhaps into next year. so, that suggests that inflation is going to be higher this year and i guess the inflation rates for next year and 2023 were also marked up, but just by a couple of tenths. >> woodruff: powell also warned congress that if it fails to raise the debt ceiling, and defaults on the national debt, the economy could suffer severe damage. that fight over the debt ceiling
remains stalemated tonight. a democratic bill to raise it passed the u.s. house of representatives last night. but, republican opposition in the evenly-divided senate could prevent action. party leaders argued again today over who's responsible for the debt, and a potential national default. >> if they choose to vote in favor of the default by a cynical political blame-game, it will ultimately be the american people who will pay the price. and the american people will know who did this-- the republican senate. >> my advice to this democratic government, the president, the house and the senate: don't play russian roulette with our economy. step up and raise the debt ceiling to cover all that you've been engaged in all year long. >> woodruff: meanwhile, president biden met with top democrats to bridge divides between moderates and progressives. the divisions threaten a
giant spending package totaling $3.5 trillion. senate talks on police reform also hit a wall today. democrats said they've ended bipartisan negotiations to make officers liable for abuses and collect data on use of force. new jersey senator cory booker said the talks were going nowhere. president biden and french president emmanuel macron have agreed to meet next month, to smooth tensions between the two governments. they center on australia's decision to buy u.s. submarines and cancel a deal with france. the two presidents spoke by phone today. macron also agreed to send the french ambassador back to washington. there is word that large numbers of haitian migrants are being released into the u.s. the biden administration had said they faced mediate expulsion. instead, the associated press reports that many have been told to report to immigration offices within 60 days. white house press secretary
jen psaki suggested today, there aren't enough available planes for quick deportations. >> there are a range of flights, as you know, going to different parts of the world, depending, and those are in process. so if we're not-- if there isn't a flight ready yet, those individuals may be placed in alteatives to detention. >> woodruff: by some estimates, the camp at del rio, texas held more than 14,000 people at one point. the world health organization is warning that air polluon can cause harm at lower levels than previously thought. the agency revised its guidelines today for the first time in 15 years. it likened air pollution to poor diet and smoking, and it said 90% of the world's people are at risk. the dow jones industrial average gained 338 points to close at
34,258. the nasdaq rose 150 points. and the s&p 500 added 41. still to come on the newshour: a bumpy road ahead for the biden agenda in congress. how residents in louisiana are still struggling with critical needs after ida. bob woodward and robert costa unpack their new book on the chaos around last year's election. plus, much more. >> woodruff: as we reported, president biden spoke with french predent emmanuelle nick schifrin looks at european-u.s. relations with the european union's top diplomat. >> schifrin: judy, president biden says he is launching a new
era of american diplomacy and coordination with the u.s.' closest allies. but, there are real disagreements between the u.s. and europe as they confront major challenges, including afghanistan and stalled nuclear talks with iran. to discu that i'm joined by josep borrell, the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the european commission. >> reporter: hi, representative. welcome to the "newshour". thank you very much. in their joint statement today, presidents biden and macron say, quote, the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies. the two will meet at the end of october. president biden acknowledged the importance of strand in the indo--pacific and the impornce of stronger gene defense. this week he expressed solidarity with france. does this call and statement repair the damage? >> yes, i think that the statement has paved the way, you know, to overcome these
difficulties. i had a meeting with the secretary of state blinken and i have to say this statement is more or less what i had to say to him. so it was quite easy after the statement to reach agreements. >> reporter: i want to reach out beyond the sub deal and president biden says he's prioritizing allies, but european diplomats have told me that the biden administration didn't listen to them on afghanistan, on covid vaccines, on a travel ban, on trump era tariffs that are still there. france's foreign minister said biden's meth is similar to trump's but without the tweets. do you agree? >> it's asharp sentence. i can agree on that from the point of what does it represent, a lack of communication. but we have to try to overcome
this situation because we cannot afford to be divided because this is going to be used by people who are not exactly our friends, and also the recognition that the europeans have to have strong military capacity. you know that to share a more important part of the burden that represents the defense of the western world. >> reporter: on that question of stronger european military capacity, you've talked about an independent force of 5,000 european troops. do you foresee a day when you would actually deploy those troops over u.s. objections? >> why not? you know, the u.s. rightly have decided to withdw. president biden said in the united nations yesterday that it is for the first time in 20 years that the u.s. is not at war anywhere in the world, and we europeans, we have, as i
said, to share a part of our responsibility, and for doing that, we have to have the capacity of deploying troops, like you americans are able to do. thanks to you and thanks to your troops and to your military, it was possible to secure the airport at kabul. so it will be problems in our neighborhood in which you will not intervene, and we should be able to do that on our own. >> reporter: do you acknowledge that u.s. and n.a.t.o. officials will be concerned by that statement that you just made? >> they should not. i don't understand why a stronger europe will represent a concern for n.a.t.o. the stronger europe will be, the stronger the n.a.t.o. will be because we are part of n.a.t.o. nothing about changing one thing by the other. as the two presidents said today, the military capacity of the europeans is a complement to n.a.t.o., a complement, not an
alternative. we have to be able to have by our own in the situations and the cases and the places where we cannot expect the u.s. to intervene or the n.a.t.o. to intervene. we have to share our part of the responsibility, and we have to be able to act alone, if needed. >> reporter: on iran, sir, it's been about four months since europe and iran have met with any substantive dialogue. it's been about two months since ibrahim ray hissy was elected president of iran. do you say it's iran who's unwilling to engage in serious dialogue today? >> only 25 days since the new minister is in office. i had the opportunity to meet with him yesterday in person, a long discussion. he assure me that they will go back to the negotiation tables
in vienna, in austria. the coordinator of the nuclear deal with iran, i will do my best to renew the deal, and the u.s. to go back to the deal and the iranians to fulfill fully their nuclear obligations. >> reporter: the iranians said they'd resume these negotiations in the past and they clearly isn't made that step yet. do you believe there needs to be more leverage or pressure on iran in order to make sure they resume these negotiations? >> it's not a matter of pressure. i think it's a matter of convincing them that they need an agreement. the irani economy and society is in a very bad shape. they have been paying a high price for the closing of their capacity to support oil, and they need an agreement in order to restart the economy working. and the only way of havinghis
agreent is going back to the negotiation table. >> reporter: representative josep borrell, thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you, too. >> woodruff: congress tonight is mired in a mammoth logjam. in coming days and weeks, it must act, just to keep the federal government functioning. at the same time, democratic leaders are trying to figure out if they can satisfy everyone in their caucuses, as they try to pass two bills that would together dole out trillions of dollars toward infrastructure, child care, health care, and climate. the road ahead on all of these issues is murky tonight, and our own lisa desjardins is here lisa, help us understand, congress is tangled up over two different issues, each of which could shut down the government. >> reporter: let's start there. we're talkic about government spending and the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling is not like a
credit card limit. the debt ceiling means essentially freezing most of america's bank accounts so we would not be able to spend in the future if we hit it. let's talk about how these are related. first of all, these right now are the deadlines, government spending, the funding deadline september 30. the debt ceiling will likely be hit in early to mid october. going on now, there's a government-funding extension that has bipartisan support in congress. the debt ceiling, however, leeps in the senate vowed to vote no. you generally need 60 people in the senate, without republicans very hard to pass anything like this. democrats last night put the government funding bipartisan idea together with the debt ceiling plan, passed that out to have the house. that big blob of a bill now works its way toward the u.s. senate where republicans plan to block both of them at one time, likely on friday. sohese two fiscal crises,
fiscal nightmares, judy, are tied together, and we're going to watch closely for the offramp. democrats may have to separate those bills. looks like government shutdown less likely. debt ceiling, to be honest, this is the as close as i've seen the two sides come to toying with these this. we'll have to watch it day by day. woodruff: the other big stakes tangle among democrats, over the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, and then the much bigger healthcare, childcare, and climate bill. >> reporter:hat's right. les try to unpack this to make it simple and understandable. this is the democratic divide. on monday, this coming monday, september 27th, the house is planning or set -- has a deadline to vote on the infrastructure bill passed by the senate, bipartisan, generally popular. moderates, that's their priority
this infrastructure bill. it's going to affect mostly every part of this country. progressives, their priority is what you talked about, judy, the larger bill with the build back better biden agenda. we sometimes call it reconciliation. that's how they plan to pass it using 50 votes in the u.s. senate. progressives said we'll not support that infrastructure bill in the house till the reconciliation bill moves to the senate. that's playing quite a gamble with both the bills ease personal spaws the reconciliation bill is not fully formed in either chamber and not clear where it stands now at 3.5 trillion in concept can make it through the senate. that has a bumpy road and so does the infrastructure bill at the moment. >> woodruff: also we learned today that the negotiations that have been going on months now over police reform have fallen apart. >> reporter: this was incredibly significant news. surprised it was not a bigger headline. we'll see it in the headlines
tomorrow. democrats senator cory booker told me and others he felt the two sides were too far apart, he and tim scott, republican of south carolina. he said democrats long ago gave up on their centerpiece issues of police immunity, making police more accountable. he said it was over things they thought were basic, even basic systematic reforms, they felt senator scott was to the right of president trump and he didn't hi he could look at victims' famili in the eyes and say i will prevent another loved one's death. democrats going observe their own for a moment. tim scott says he wants to continue working but talks have fallen apart. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, thank you very much. >> reporter: you're welcome. we spoke to a key figure in congress' efforts around reconciliation and infrastructure-- democratic congresswoman fr washington state
anchair of the congressional progressive caucus, pramila jayapal.
congresswoman pramila jayapal, thank you very much for being with us. you have laid down what has been described as an ultimatum that, unless the senate passes this $3.5 trillio reconciliation bill, you and other members of the progressive caucus will not support the infrastructure legislation which we know there is support for in both parties. why not? >> well, judy, thanks so much for having me on. the key here is we are willing and able and ready to vote for both bills that deliver the entirety of the president's agenda to his desk. that is both the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill. but the agreement was made in the senate and, in fact, just today, 11 senators put out a statement saying that the only reason they voted for the bipartisan bill out
of the senate was because they had a
commitment that the reconciliation and infrastructure bill would continue to be tied together and wouldn't pass the bipartisan till until the reconciliation bill was passed. we are stickinto that agreement. we've said that the last three months. a majority of our members feel strongly that we can't allow one piece to go forward, the roads and bridges, which is important but a much smaller package, and not allow childcare, paid leave to go forward, not allow people to have affordable housing, not to take on climate change, those are the things that are in the build back better act that are the president's, the democratic agenda we ran on. so we have been very clear we are ready, willing and able to vote for both bills, but first the reconciliation then the infrastructure bill. >> woodruff: congresswoman, moderate members of your party are calling this -- one of them used the term political grand grandstanding. you say you were at least within
shouting distance of getting that bipartisan infrastructure bill but you are jeopardizing that because of the demands you are making about the larger bill. >> well, i would say respectly to my colleagues there was an agreement made and because people wanted to grand stand, they put an at official date of monday september 27 on the table to vote for both these bills. we have not gotten the entirety of the reconciliation package determined so we need a little more time. there's nothing spefic about monday september 27th. why wouldn't we st continue the work to get these bills both done, make sure the reconciliation bill is agreed to then we'll happily vote for both. but the reality is the bipartisan infrastructure bill was supposed to be de three monthsefore it got done, but it kept taking longer and longer so why is it that we allow that to go forward with more time, but now when it comes to the reconciliation bill, about 70% of the priorities, meaning that
women can go back to work and get childcare and paid leave and healthcare for everybody and community college, all these critically important things that suddenly there's an arbitrary date of monday the 27th. let's finish our work, and let's get both bills to the president's agenda because this is the democratic agenda. >> woodruff: speaking of the president, you are headed to the white house this afternoon along with other members of congress to talk to the president about all this. he is clearly going to try to reach some kind of a compromise. are you prepared to give ground, to agree for a smaller number, for example, in the bigger reconciliation bill? >> actually, $3.5 trillion was the smaller number. if you remember our original request was for $6 trillion, and 3.5 was the agreement that we made and that the senators made, but i will just say this -- i like to think about this, first of all, as a zero-dollar bill because, judy, all of it will be
paid for by taxes on the wealthiest corporations and individuals, something that makes the package more popular around the country when you tell people that the richest people in this country are going to pay their fair share. secondly i will say the number is not arbitrary. it comes from being able to provide universal childcare, paid leave, all of those things, so if someone wants to propose that's too much, what will you cut out because until i see that i have no way to make a determination. >> woodruff: quickly, one more question on this. do you think it's possible you could see both bills go down because of this disagreement? >> no, i really think that we're all part of the same team. what i say all the people is there are a lot of my members who don't like the bierpts bill. it's not just they think it's too small and doesn't do enough, but they actually think there are provisions in there that would hurt some of our goals around climate justice and taking on climate change, and,
yet, they are willing to will big adults in the room and say i know i'm not going to love everything, but i need to get the reconciliation bill to address all the other priorities and make transformational changes. we need others, conservative democrats to do the same thing. they wrote the bipartisan bill, we did not. we are working on the reconciliation bill. they will also have to come to the table and recogne it's the democratic agenda, the president's agenda we are pushing for. >> woodruff: one separate issue, congresswoman, we learned today the negotiations between the two houses, between the two parties to come up with an reement on a police reform bill have fallen apart. what can democrats do now on their own, if anything, on this important issue? >> it is just heartbreaking to know that i know that senator booker and karen bass and others worked so hard on this agreement to get it to be bipartisan, to try to get 60 votes, but let me just say that this is another
example of how the filibuster is preventing movement on this critically important issue of police accountability, of fairness and justice and policing, and we passed the bill in the house. the problem is in the senate, and, you know, i understand there's some good republican senators who tried to work on a deal, but getting ten additional votes from a senate that has not been good on civil rights, not been good on voting rights, is a pipe dream. so i think we have to reform the filibuster for issues around -- well, i think we need to reform it, period, but we should at least have carveouts for things like voting rights, police reform and so many other important civil rights and constitutional rights issues. >> woodruff: well, filibuster is certainly enough for another conversation. we're going to leave it there, congresswoman pramiljayapal, who chairs the house congressional caucus. thank you very much. >> thank you, judy.
>> woodruff: after hurricane ida, a housing crisis takes a toll. we have a report. >> reporter: for brittany it feels like erk ida hit southeast louisiana three weeks ago and never left. >> we're still without everything. we've seen nobody come and help. >> reporter: you're feeling a bit forgotten? >> it's factual, you can see it for your >> reporter: gauno lives in the senator circle public housing complex in houma, about 60 miles from new orleans. ida tore through here with winds of at least 150 miles per hour. there were over a million power outages across the region, crippling an already-vulnerable grid.
the lights are back on now for many. but gauno, her partner and their three-year-old son are among the thousands still in the dark. >> it's like a third-world country, basically, in a sense. it's a third-world country. but, i mean, we know how to survive, and that's-- that's exactly what we're doing. we're surviving. we're not living life happy or anything. we're just surviving. >> reporter: last week, the houma terrebonne housing authority, which is responsible for this complex, put a message on facebook saying residents could not return. that note, gauno said, is all they've heard from the authority. representatives did not return our request for comment. in the aftermath of hurricane ida, an emerging housing crisis grows; hundreds are homeless after evictions. some people have moved to their porches, tents or cars. dozens remain in shelters. >> these people literally have nowhere to go. >> reporter: hannah adams is a staff attorney at southeast louisiana legal services, which helps w income tenants. >> a lot of people are faced
with this really difficult choice, right. are they going to sleep in the car, or sleep in a two-bedroom house with 1relatives? or are they going to drive eight, ten hours away, to a place where they can actually find an apartment and/or a hotel room, but where they're going to lose their job. or where they're not going to be >> reporter: joseph hebert is now living in a tent where his family's trailers were badly damaged. he's not going anywhere-- no matter the living conditions. >> we've lost houses before and all. and like i said, we're from louisiana. we're going to get through it. take care of one another. not just family-- neighbors, everybody. that's the only way south louisiana's going to get through this. >> reporter: now, louisiana's government leaders are pleading for help. governor john bel edwards, who's in washington this week, says "unmet housing needs" from ida could top $2.5 billion. so far, the federal emergency
management agency-- or fema-- has approved more than $220 million in housing assistance. but, local leaders say it isn't just the money. they're simply in desperate need of housing units. lafourche parish president archie chaisson pressed fema for more temporary housing, in a call last week. about a quarter of the houses in his parish are completely destroyed. >> they were telling us at one point it was going to be 45 to 60 days before we got some of the stuff in place. and i can't bridge a gap that long. i can't-- i can't let people-- in one particular case i always use, we have an employee who works every day for us, busts his butt 14 hours a day, and goes to sleep in a bridge house that we have, because he lost everything. i can't continue to ask him to do that for another 30 to 60 days. i need something on the ground now. >> reporter: in the meantime, non-profits are filling the gap. the organization s.b.p. is helping residents like debra hartman salvage what's left of her childhood home. >> it's things that i've known
all my life. my grandmother rocked us in that rocker, and now we have to throw it away. >> reporter: building back will be nearly impossible with no insurance, a fixed income, and an 80-year-old mother with alzheimer's. >> i've heard people say they've lost everything, but, i never knew what it's like to actually lose everything. >> reporter: and it's neighbors like hartman that brittany gauno worries about most-- in a region where the recovery has all but stalled. you know? because we're doing fine. but you got to think about other people, that ... it's just other people. like, we're fine, but to people that aren't blessed in the ways that we are blessed, like, they're not eating every day, like, you never know what you got until it's gone.
it's just sad. it's just sad. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm roby chavez in southeast louisiana. >> woodruff: the first draft of history is being written about the final, chaotic days of donald trump's presidency, and the earliest days of joe biden's. in a new book by "washington post" journalists bob woodward and robert costa, they reveal the alarm and the lengths that then-president trump's top advisors went to, to prevent him from acting on his worst impulses. th title of the book is "peril," and they join us now. and we welcome both of you to the "newshour". bob woodward, robert costa, welcome back to pbs. >> good to see you. >> woodruff: before we talk about the details of the book, bob woodward, this is your third book looking at donald trump. was he different at the end of his term than he was at the
beginning? >> he's always shocking and different, but also always the same, and this -- you know, in a way, the reporting on trump is a quest. who is he? what does he really care about? what is he doing? what is his political appeal to so many people in the country? and just, if you zoom in on the reality now, the idea that he and nixon -- when nixon left and resigned, he didn't do around and campaign, trump is campaigning. >> woodruff: is campaigning and i want to ask you about that. robert costa, so much important reporting in this book, including about, as i just mentioned, about how trump's advisors at different points, at many points, were trying to keep him from carrying out acts that would have been either violated the constitution or have been purely illegal, and there's one example in here i want to ask you about, it was to 20, the
attorney general bill barr, he was being asked by the president to okay an order that would, in an instant, take all 10 million american citizens who were the children of undocumented immigrants, because he said let's just, in one fell swoop, say they won't be. and i won't get into all the details about why. but there were people around te president who agreed with him on this. the attorney general said no. help us understand why some went along and some didn't. >> the answer to that is complicated because these characters in "peril" and during this moment in american history are complicated. in many ways, our reporting shows attorney general barr was an enabler of president trump, a political ally, he went to in 2s to used some words we can't say on pbs about trying to coral the president toward more political center and norms.
he was also trying to pull him away from the more far right elements of the republican party. whether barr or others, we keep seeing in our reporting, no one was able to contain president trump, and that's why chairman milley decided to take some kind of behind the scenes actions to make sure a catastrophe didn't happen. >> woodruff: and we in fact haver are done on elements of your book that came out about general millie, the chairman of the joint chiefs, bob woodward, who got in touch with his chinese counterpart to say, no, we're not planning to come after china. but there are other pieces, stories in the book about general milley that suggest he was genuinely worried. >> yeah, he was. this idea -- i mean, trump has said what milley did was treasonous. we found zero o evidence of tha.
he's trying to protect the country in moments of crisis. four days before the election, milley gets intelligence that the chinese think we're going to attack them. this is one to have the most harriest moments in the military that the adversary might think we're going to attack them which might invite a pearl harbor strike, first move on the other side. so, in the panic -- and, i mean, it was a crisis -- to talk to the chinese counterpart and say, no, no, we don't mean that, we're not going to attack you. and he says some things that have been interpreted, like when he said, we're not -- if we're going to attack you, i'll call you. well, what he means in context, if you look at i'm sorry we remember this, page 129 in the book, what milley is saying to
criminal le of china is, look, we will be talking, there are tensions, but this is not a time when we are going to attack you. and intesting and maybe important to history, general le said i believe you, i accept you at your word. >> woodruff: and when it comes to attorney general bill barr, whether lindsey graham, a number of people who were advising this president, at the time it looked like they were unquestioning going along with him. you in your reporting, they're telling you, well, i had different ideas. how do you know when to believe them? >> it's not about believing them, it's about charting what they do, what they say. actions matter in politics and policy, and you see with senator graham, it's not about us believing him, because we see him twist and turn in our story at many times. he's at one time saying president trump's going way outside to have the bounds on the election.
at other times he's saying this man must run in 2024. >> woodruff: and you referred, bob, quickly a minute ago to president trump, do you think he will run again? >> yes. our reporting shows he's been kind of baiting people and saying, oh, i'm not going to announce yet, but telling his supporters, you will be happy with what i do. but nothing is certain here. >> well, that quote from brad parscale in july 2021, he privately said, based on our reporting, the former campaign manager for trump in 2020, if he runs again in 2020 and parscale and others around him believe he will, he will run because of vengeance and that will be the motivating factor. the people around trump are people like steve bannon who said we need to kill the biden presidency in the crib. >> woodruff: part of the book
is about president biden. bob woodward, you have really interesting reporting about his relationship with his closest advisors and what they are trying to keep him from doing. they don't like him doing unscripted events, and there are points where republicans and others are looking at this white house and saying they're keeping the president back, they're keeping him from what he wants to do. how did you end up reading that? >> i mean, they may be trying, but i think biden's going to do what he wants. and we show him in private meetings regularly being the question man, be very tough on people -- where'd that come from? are you sure? give me the data. he is somebody who is a tough boss. at the same time, in afghanistan, which is so important, tony blinken, the secretary of state, and austin the secretary of defense, in march, formally made proposals
to president biden, slow down the pullout, do it in increments, and this, of course, is the criticism, saying biden should have done that. >> woodruff: less than 30 seconds. president biden, so much on his plate right now. based on your reporting, does he understand the congress, the u.s. that he served in, but that it's changed since then? >> he has adapted. you see this man to have the senate, they call him old joe, closest friends in the senate, because he was there 36 years. he's adapted to his changing democratic party. one of his closest allies we show in the book is senator bernie sanders of vermont, primary foe in 2020, now working on infrastructure with him. and senator manchin and others are causing president biden the most headaches. >> woodruff: robert costa, bob woodward, the book is "peril." thank you so much and congratulations. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: senior broadcast producer mike melia has grown up at the "newshour", one of the people in my ear every night on the air. we all thank you, mike, for 18 years of extraordinary contributions, and we wish you the very best at your next home. we're going to miss you. i'm judy woodruff, and for all of us at the "pbs newshour," thank you and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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